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The Art Review. 



going general survey it will be seen that j 

Vale College now affords the meant, of a ! 

connected study of art, and can illustrate, by ! 

examples of great historic epochs, some of S 
/^-» most representative and immortal 
k wths of our humanity in its long and 

painful labor. 



CHICAGO STATUARY. 

LETTER FROM P. GREEN TO JOHN RUSK IN. 

: - ; - . Chicago, Sept. 14, 1870. 

My Dear Old Friend:— Glad to hear 

"from you once more, but sorry to learn of 

Mrs. Ruskin* s indisposition and -of young 

Ruskin's frowardness in smashing your 

ancient and valued Roman head. 

'■^With youi request to inform you of the 

I l progress, if any, of Art (with a large A) in 

1 I Chicago, I gladly comply, especially as I 

■ I'jxe from your letter that you cherish grave 

^doubts whether Art (with a large A) has 

; J obtained any foothold at all in our wonderful 

^City. r ^' Indeed, your repetition of the dull old 

;>: »aw that Art cannot flourish in a republic is 

1 '.not only less" reasonable but less original 

than the most of your sayings. 
i Briefly, then, let me inform you, Rus., that 
I -.-'Art, as she stands in Chicago at present, is 
j„ Immense. (Indulge me, as an act of inter- 
fj^Wational reciprocity, in a- large I. As a de- 
!4votec of Beauty — with a big B — you should 
/prefer a lar^e I to a small one. Bah! Ex- 
; cum.* inv pleasantry, and consider the fore- 

pBipfigaed out '/jvr v .-'..• 

IV. lobe 1 serious, then, John, Art in Chicago 
. \\h immense. She has not only " obtained a 
^foothold," ..but you'd think she went in all 
: ; oyer, as some of the earliest settlers did, and 
shave Vever been heard of si nee. . - , ,-' ,;. , V ..,W;.- ,' ; 




^Stung somewhat by your slur at the rela- 
tions between Democracy and Art. I shall, 
Fto prove .its utter ridiculosity (you have read 
our Senate reports, I trust, and encountered 
this word) — to prove this thing that I speak 
of, I shall ignore, in this note, all the many 
manifestations of art to be encountered (for 
25 cents) in our public galleries, as also 
e scattered so largely up and down our 
' w^/iues in the residence* of the wealthy, 
and shall confine myself entirely to those 
manifestations which prove the beautiful 
•connection between Democracy and Art 
(with a big A, of course.) 
If you could but be once set down .'/'■.'*■ 






Chicago, my dear Ruskin, as so many of 
your countrymen have been this summer, 
you would see at once, all about you, sights 
that would open your eyes. (Beg pardon ; 
you would have to open your eyes before you 
saw the sights. But you are of Irish birth, 
1 believe, and won't mind the bull.) 

You would see around you, as often as 
every street-corner, and in some sections a 
great deal oftener, carved statues, represent- 
ing, for the edification of the public, every 
conceivable variety (and some almost incon- 
ceivable varieties) of the human species, 
from the President of our great Republic 
down to the rudest red man, or the most 
uncanny Scotchman in plaid and kilt. 

Let me decribe a very few of them for you 
guidance, in case you should be seized with 
a desire to investigate this matter, and should 
arrive in Chicago when I am not here to be 
your, cicerone. 

: i. Our .street statuary constitutes, as I have 
hinted, almost a universal museum of authro- 
pology. The race which our artists have 
illustrated most freely is, unquestionably, 
the aboriginal American — the noble red man 
of the forest, whom your fellow-Briton, poor 
Kirk White, has christened Lo, in his 
well-known verses beginning: 

" Lo, the poor Indian, whose untutored mind," etc. 

There seems a poetic justice in our sculp- 
tors carving Lo so much, for that is just 
what Lo did for our ancestors — his carving 
weapons being the knife and tomahawk — our* 
the chisel and the draw-knife. 

Indian statuary is so plenty in Chicago 
that I cannot properly particularize upon it 
here, except to mention that we suit all sorts 
of prejudices as to color by making our 
Indian* of every hue between ebon black 
arid pearl white. I may mention also that 
the most perfect representation of the noble 
reel man is to be seen on Clark street, norlh 
of Randolph. He stands ramjuutt in all his 
native fierceness and majesty — his hatchet 
raised to strike, his crown feathers bristling 
aloft, and his calves bedecked with outstand- 
ing fringe, after the manner of one of Coop- 
er's patent Indians. It is said, indeed, that 
Edwin Forrest, the great personator of Jib- 
benainosay, stood for this work. ' ; ; 

Those who dote on black Indians will be 
suited at a place on Randolph street, near 
Clark, (a real antique, I think) and again 
near Madison street bridge. They who, 
true to preconceptions of childhood, prefer 
their Indians blood-red, will be delighted 
with a specimen on North Clark 6treet. Of 
this, however, the fose is a little faulty, 
being weak and undecided, and it is to be 
regretted that the idiosyncracy of the artist 
should have led him to paint the eye^ of his 
subject milk white, with the merest dot of 
black in the centre. It is clear that that 
artist (whose name I do not find in the 
catalogue) had not an eye for an eye. 

Of Indians I could say much more, dear 
Ruskin, for I am full of the Noble Red Man. j 
There is a personification of venerable piety, j 
in a grand old rouawatlamie on Nord-clark- I 
strasse, before which I have lingered for | 
houn>. In the vision of life before me (over- I 



looking a slight excess of cream color in the 
face and breast) I could imagine 1 saw good 
old King Phillip himself or the La*t of the 
Mohicans, or the dear old Wept-of-the- 
Wiptonwish, or Washt-up-the-Weeptown- 
mu6h, or whatever his right name was — it 
haunts my memory but vaguely — particularly 
the Christian name. 

Well, poor old Pottowatomie — let him pass, 
as also the many female beauties which 
abound in all quarters of the city— the pretty 
Pocahontases, the Greek Slaves done into 
Choctaw, and the Pawnee Venuses who, true 
lo their pedestals as Casabianca to his deck, 
stand guard over the aesthetic education of 
the public from day to day, from season to 
season, from year to year. These pieces of 
statuary represent the aboriginal female to 
be a remarkably well-developed person, with 
full busts, stout limbs, stern, immobile fea- 
tures, and a graceful scantiness of drapery. 




^-£1=a -|V..< ; 



".' ,;■■;'<. PATRIOTIC monument'. 

They must be condemned, however, for a 
little loudness of tone in the ornamentation 
bestowed by the artists, in the way of brace- 
lets, crowns and broaches. 

(You will have guessed, already,' Mr. 
Ruskin, that these pieces of sculpture are in 
the Grecian style;- and colored to the last ' 
point of effect. I take it that you know 
something about Art, notwithstanding you "~ 
are a writer on Art subjects.) *3 

Bidding a tearful adieu to the dusky 
maidens of the forest (I should have men- 
tioned that some of them, like other famous 
antiques, are lacking an arm or a nose, but 
one can always form a clear idea of the 
sculptor's conceit, notwithstanding we must 
condemn the use of pine, instead of the more 
tenacious basswood, or. still better, hickory, 
for the manufacture of such statues)— 

Bidding a tearful adieu to these interesting 
creatures, with their simple bouquets of ' 
tobacco leaves, innocently proffered to the 
beholder, we will wander among other mon- 
uments of art. ■'■>■■';. '-l\'-'-. ■.■•':';•.'•"•'. ■•'■•' '.■' 



The Art Review. 



>n 



What are these fine columns— sometimes i 
obelisks — that shoot up toward heaven (a 
little way,) terminating in an acorn, or an j 
ornamental cap? Evidently some patriotic 
device, for they are ornamented with the 
national colors, red. white and blue. And if, 
dear Ruskin, you pursue your investigations 
further, and enter, for that purpose, the shop 
before which these columns are reserved, 
you will find that the occupants are black— 
another national color,— since 1S65. Thus do 
we make our Art stimulate our patriotism ! 




, ; v j\ HOW D'YE DO, G I N* R A I,.? 7 - 

f^$Hejr^in a 

QJ|frelBt/is > ii' , '8tatue of President Grant] }?xecut- 

^^ed with ^almost pre-Raphai'lite fidelity to 

W^^\^^zo^x\^\o^\ >igar in his mouth. 

f^the proverbial frowri upon his brow/ and the 

^^^i^^^^ion^hat ..upon ; his .head, :'•;-. \ 

W^M^^^ 1 ^, ^ me ^At' n>ght after a 
ffioprtj^ o^tionj has shaken hands' with" 
lathis 1 Statue, profound in the belief that he was 
^saluting the veritable hero of Appomattox. 
J; And, for that matter, so far as anything like 
^social intercourse goes, the statue is'just about 
;gas good as the original, Mr. Ruskin ! ; - . 

4^S-^C"v^-% ► — Pf^-P^t'yes. , of , -British 
^character we have a fine statue of your 
^sportingexquisite, in '" Hedwin of the Hox- 
. fords," by Jones, located on Madison street, 
.£near Dearborn. Also, "A British Blonde/' 
'■&$¥ S - or - y '. This nOD ! e work, now exhibiting 
*'. on South Halsted street, will do more than 
:.^any of Mr. Story's previous efforts to estab- 
lish the fame of that rising young sculptor. 
>^ But .^ Wil1 P lR y the deuce with the feelings of 
'.hundreds of susceptible youths who pass 
I that way, and drink in as they go (I suppose 
after the manner of the new device for 
watering locomotives,') the beauties of the 
artist's creation. The sculptor has not seen 
fit to portray the blonde in her belligerent 
mood, cowhide in hand, out has taken her in 
/j moment of tranquil repose. Her other 
^tribute— that of nudity— has been found 
well suited to the artist's needs, 'and has 
been improved. You may see, in this work, 
slight reminiscences, perhaps of ' Titian's 
/Canvas Venus, and of the sculptured goddess 
'•? of Medici, bu! still not enough to justify any 
^accusation of plagiarism. The fascinating; 



power of the blonde is beyond question. I 
have seen dozens of men, young and old, 
sprawl upon the rough plank sidewalk while 
staring back over their shoulders at the beau- 
ties of the figure. 

We have also several good Punches, a 
great favorite in Britain, where, imitating 
the ancient Roman custom of evening devo- 
tion to Lares and Penates, no one goes to 
bed without his Punch — (" the noblest rum 
'un of them all.") 

I make only two or three more transcrip- 
tions from the catalogue : 

No 776, "Gambrinus," by Krautundsenf. 
This fine statue is of heroic size, and repre- 
sents the ancient Germanic Bacchus in his 
traditional attitude — the right hand holding 
aloft a foaming beaker, and the opposite foot 
elevated grandly upon a beer keg labeled 
."Iluck's Lager •Bier." The handling of 
the cup is very fine, and one feels not the 
slightest doubt that the convivial old king 
will place himself on the outside of its entire 
contents before he ceases. This being a 
piece devoted to malt liquor, contains no 
hint of still life. 

No. 3516, The Same, by the same, 
located a few doors north of the other on 
North Clark street,— our Boulevard Alle- 
mande. This is the same composition as 
the other, except that the keg is labeled 
"Best & Co.'s Beer." ; '" ' 

No. 1,865, The Same, by the same 
sculptor. This is a door or two further 
north, and is identical with the others, 
except that the beer keg is not labeled at all, 
deference being paid to the present diversity 
of opinion in Chicago as to which of the 
various malt beverages is best, and which, 
'therefore, Gambinus should patronize. ' l r'y\tr r 
,^1 1 could tell you of many more such works 
of art, but I really must deprive you, this 




■STORY'S BEAI/TIFl'L BRITISH BLONDE. 

time, for I must enforce upon your mind 
how, in the distribution of all this rare 
statuary, everything is done to fofulorizc 
Art; to bring it within everybody's reach; 
in short, to ally it to Democracy. All these 
statues are placed in front of places of most 
frequent resort; chiefly where the men go to 
get their cigar or their glass of beer, or to 
•be shaved. ■'■■■C.- ■ ;;.'•' ''>;■£. 



I Such is Art in Chicago. Allow me, as a 
sort of international splurge, to telegraph to 
you by ocean cable (at your expense) this 
sentiment : 




GAMBKINUS AT HOME. 
Chicago and Europe — the two most civil- 
ized grand divisions of the globe : While in 
the latter, beauty is continually struggling 
with utility, in the former, the two go hand in 
hand. (Cigar* for two, at the sign of the 
Blue Squnw.) '..';'. Yours ever, 

.■!'■■•, "';^h> : . : '''- ■"•• : -' ; -V- ■■'."' P. Green. '".-•: 

HANS BALATKA. ' ^ - , \ : ' } 

,.';.;,.' .,' 'BY GEORGE P. UPTON. :■' \ / v'_ ,/ \ \y { ,} 

I purpose to write a brief biographical 
sketch of Hans Balatka, as far as his life 
has been devoted to the. study and profession 
of music, and to write it without preliminary ! 
flourish by way of preface. Mr. Balatka is 
too well known in Chicago to need any her- 
alding of trumpets. And I take unusual 
pleasure in writing such a sketch, because, 
having been intimately associated with him, 
I know what efforts he has made for the 
cause of true music as against the false, and 
with what singleness of purpose and hon- 
esty of labor he has kept on his way through 
some good, and more bad, fortune. Tfcree 
men preceded him in musical labor in Chi- 
cago, sowing seeds they were never destined 
to see ripen— Carl Bergmann, who was driv- 
en away by national jealousies; Henry Ah- 
ner, who struggled in vain, and died of a 
broken heart; and Julius Unger, who, after 
a year's work, left Chicago the very day be- 
fore poverty would have arrived had he re- 
mained. The work they left unfinished Mr. 
Balatka took up, and he has, thus far, lived 
long enough to witness a harvest, which, if 
not remunerative in a financial sense, is at 
least rich in musical results. It is of this 
pioneer in music I write you to-dav. 

Hans Balatka was born March 5, 1826, at 
Hoffnungsthal, near the fortress of Olmutz, 
in Moravia. His parent* possessed decided 
musical ability, and they turned his educa- 
tion, at a very early age, in the samc # direc- 
tion, giving him instruction upon the'piano 
and violin and in singing. In his twelfth 



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